Brussels Sprouts And Lent

Mar 9, 2011 by

Lent is upon us.

It is the 40-day period when Christians who are so inclined give up something they value as a sacrifice in preparation of Easter. But then it gets sort of complicated.

Now while Lent starts today, the exact 40-day period is debatable. Get a bunch of religions together and they can’t even agree on what constitutes 40 days. Some don’t count Sundays, others give breaks for St. Patrick’s Day. Some add or subtract Saturdays, others apparently use darts and throw them at a calendar. Check out Wikipedia for more.

Anyway, over at her blog, the Little Black Dress is inviting friends and readers to share what they will give up for Lent. The Dress takes this time seriously, an opportunity to focus on God through sacrifice.

And I do mean seriously. The LBD will forsake meat most of the time, but there’s more. During Lent, The Dress is giving up Hobby Lobby. There is also talk of DSW Shoes. If you know The Dress, you understand this is about as sacrificial as it comes. This is a woman who has been known to talk to her shoes; and who believes a day is not complete without a least a quick pass through any store focusing on “decor.” Not that I’m actually saying she really talks to her shoes, just that it “has been known,” which is open to interpretation.

My proposal to give up Brussels Sprouts seems rather weak in retrospect.

I don’t really consider Brussels Sprouts food, but rather a replacement for ping-pong balls when the last of said balls breaks. After hearing the LBD’s decision, I decided I’d better come up with something, say, a little more sacrificial.

And so, I intend to give up purchasing anything “new” during this period.

Now before everyone stands and applauds and starts throwing out words like “stud muffin,” there are a few caveats. Hey, if the churches can’t agree on the 40-day period, I get a break.

My period of sacrifice begins Friday. I say that because tomorrow, Thursday, I’m attending a map and compass class at REI, the mecca and Holy Grail of everything related to camping, backpacking and hiking. I know there are a couple of items I simply must get for the Sons of Thunder. You know, some comfort items to help them out with this new outdoor experience we’re getting into. Nothing for me, mind you.

Secondly, this “not buying anything new” plan does not include food.

I am unaware of any Salvation Army or Goodwill or food pantry-type store that sells used food. And even if there was, I’m just not going there – there being buying pre-chewed food.

This also does not include other necessities, things like toothpaste, deodorant and toilet paper.

However, it will include clothes, toys, anything related to hiking/camping/backpacking, and just plain “stuff” I can live without for 40 days. There is a difference between a need and a want; and between a need and a real – as in survival – need.

Giving up something you don’t really care about is easy. Giving up something of value, something you want, is another story. Lent is a time, as the LBD says on her blog, “to make a sacrifice unto the Lord.” A time to seek and find God’s direction for your life.

It is not a time to play holier than thou nor win a “My sacrifice is bigger than your sacrifice” contest.

As The Dress says, seek and find.


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